Oregon Lottery Becomes Gateway to Casino Gambling


The lottery is a classic American game that has been played for over four centuries. Millions of people play it every year. It’s a chance to win a life-changing prize. But it’s also a gateway to gambling. Problem gamblers are more likely to get hooked when they’re close to casinos and slot machines.

The Oregon Lottery was one of the first to offer video poker and slots in the U.S., but it later moved toward a more centrally-controlled gaming system. In the 1990s, it licensed 9,000 video gambling machines. As the system continued to expand, federal attention was drawn. While the National Gambling Impact Study Commission advised the Oregon Lottery that its business model was not sustainable, the state opted to ignore it.

After a decade of growth, the Oregon Lottery Commission decided to expand the network of video poker and slots. They approved games with jackpots as large as $10,000. These slots were distributed to more retailers, and the maximum bet increased from $2.50 to $100. By 2004, the commission had approved “line games,” which are similar to traditional Las Vegas style slots.

This is another way that Oregon Lottery has made gambling available to residents of all ages and income levels. Several family restaurants and bars are licensed to sell these machines. However, critics argue that the proximity to the machines makes it easier for problem gamblers to get hooked. Moreover, the lottery doesn’t do a good job of enforcing its rules. A 2000 audit found that less than one in 100 million people who buy an Oregon Lottery ticket actually receives a prize.

Since the recession, commission rates for lottery retailers have been cut. In addition, the state has been hesitant to enforce its rules against retailers. Rather than taking action against retailers, the lottery relies on them to report their revenue. Consequently, a number of retailers have had their licenses suspended or removed. For example, Shari’s in Northeast Portland has lost $284,649 since the lottery began operating video slot machines there.

Casino-style gambling is the second largest revenue raiser for the Oregon government. Besides the lottery, it is legal to place parimutuel bets on horse races and to offer pull-tabs and raffles. There are also a number of tribal gaming facilities in Oregon. According to the Tribal Gaming Commission, eight out of nine tribes have negotiated tribal-state gaming compacts.

Online lottery sites are a great way for lottery players to participate in games without leaving home. Players can choose from a variety of lottery games, including the US lottery, international lotteries, and even sports betting pools. Additionally, these websites can warn players about any scams or bad sites.

Some lottery games are more complicated than others. Some, such as Megabucks, have a 50 million to 1 odds of winning. Other jackpots are smaller. Still, most players are interested in the possibility of turning a couple of bucks into a life-changing prize. Ultimately, the lottery outcome is predetermined, regardless of how well a player plays the game.